GraciePress.com And A Free “Thank You” Gift For Our Readers

 

If you watched the book trailer for “A Most Wondrous Place,” you may have noticed “GraciePress.com” was on the last slide. (But maybe not!) This is a new separate website and independent of WordPress.

Why do this? The biggest reason for me has been to have a website with stories and illustrations that children (and adults) can read with no social elements, no external links, and no advertisements. (It’s about internet safety for me. You can’t even contact me through the website, but I may add a street mailing address because my chickens would love to receive some “fan mail” to post in their coop.) Links to Dropbox free items will be there. Links to purchase our books will be there too, but that is not what the site is mostly about. (See first two items below which focus on just reading for free.)

Why not some other name? Something like “JohnSpiers.com”? Well, that’s an easy one. People aren’t always sure how to pronounce my last name. (It sounds exactly like the last part of the word “inspires” which is what I hope my books will do.) There’s also a much more famous person who is musician with the same name, and he is the one who comes up on searches before anything about me.

What’s there? That was tough to decide. I didn’t want it to be too much…or to little. And I didn’t want it to be a duplicate of a blog-type website like “MyLifeWithGracie.com.”

  • Newest Reads” has a selection of chapters from the most recent published or soon-to-be-published book. This gives readers a chance to preview the book.
  • Coming Soon!” has a selection of stories from future projects that may be turned into books. My next projects are likely to be expanded chapter books for independent readers in the upper elementary grades. Those will have many more pages along with black and white illustrations.
  • Our Books” gives more information about books which have been published and are available to be purchased. Right now, there is only one, “A Most Wondrous Place.”
  • Author’s Page” give more information about me. (It’s not really all that important, and so it’s last on the page!)

Why not check it out? And while you are checking it out, why not look for and select this picture and you will find a free coloring book to print out! Selecting the picture will open a link to Dropbox, but you don’t need a Dropbox account. You can print some or all of the pages, and with Easter just around the corner, what could be more fun than pages and pages of baby chicks for coloring, cutting out, and creating?!? (4 season illustrations and 12 month illustrations, black line versions from artwork found in “A Most Wondrous Place”)

https://GraciePress.com

Each post shares a glimpse into my journey as a writer and illustrator. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!

If you have any feedback or suggestions for improving GraciePress.com, please let me know. I don’t want it to be difficult to navigate or to be too complicated. It should mostly be about reading stories and looking at illustrations, and that should be easy for anyone to do. Thanks!

A “Read-Beside-Me” Book Video

If all goes well, this book will be available in early April. It is the first to be published under the Gracie Press imprint. I hope this video captures the sweet and hopeful feelings I would like readers to take away from this story.

The only illustration in the video but not in the book is the first one from The Feed And Seed Store. I do like it though because it shows the vulnerability that we all may feel from time to time when things don’t make sense and we are unsure about life and the future.

This is what I call a “read-beside-me book.” That’s because it is best shared side-by-side in a big comfortable chair. The story contains words children may need to hear aloud from the important adults in their lives.

One of my favorites is “You are more important to me than anything.” I imagine the reader pausing at that point and saying, “I feel the same way about you.” With all that is going on in the world and with all of the distractions of daily life, it is something children need to hear from the important people in their lives. Another is “You are so much more than good enough.”

Maybe, if nothing else, this book can help us speak from our hearts to children (and chickens) so that they will know, “This world is truly A Most Wondrous Place for me because you and I share it together with Love.”

 

If this does not play inside your WordPress reader, just open this post in your internet browser. (I think it looks better there anyway!) Each post shares a glimpse into my journey as a writer and illustrator. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated! 

What’s The Message?

The last few weeks have been very busy for me in both of my jobs. I say “both” because while I do have a part time job that I go to four days a week, writing and illustrating have grown into another job! I’m not complaining, of course!

What are some of the things that have been going on? Well, I took the leap and bought my own ISBN’s. That is a big leap for me because it says, “I’m serious about this.” This also let me establish my own publishing imprint name: Gracie Press.

This week I received a print proof of “A Most Wondrous Place.” There are still a few edits to do, but it should be ready soon. Overall, I’m very pleased with how it looks. Of course, I still need to read it to the chickens as they have final approval over any of the stories that are published about them.

Maybe we can sit and read it together this afternoon. But I remember how they have been hinting that we need to get out and dig in the garden. They may say it’s to prepare more space for flowers and vegetables, but I know it’s to hopefully find some earthworms!

But back to what this post is mostly about. I’ve been thinking about “How To Explain Christmas To Chickens” and now “A Most Wondrous Place.” I’ve been asking myself, “What’s the message?”

Do you remember how in “How To Explain Christmas To Chickens” Pearl struggled to figure out how to be “a good normal chicken”? Do you remember how she never did figure it out, but found out it wasn’t as important as what she had thought? In the end, she discovered she was much more than good enough.

The same happens in “A Most Wondrous Place” for Gracie. She did not look like the other chicks from the beginning. She developed a lump on her side that kept her from doing what the others did, but she still danced and that is what she loved the most. She was the least likely to ever become the leader of our small backyard flock, and yet that’s exactly what happened. Like Pearl, Gracie also discovers she is much more than good enough.

And so perhaps that will be an important message in my other books too. Maybe people (both children and adults) need to know “You too are so much more than good enough.”

Each post shares a glimpse into my journey as a writer and illustrator. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!